I had it out with my husband today. We sat down at Aladdin's Eatery (they have delicious Dawali wraps) with our Lebanese beers and empty stomachs and, over a period of 45 minutes, we discussed the epic battle of the sexes.
In a daring attempt to test my boundaries, I left the dishes undone in the sink and waited for someone else to do them. After four days of absolute torture - I hate dirty dishes - I caved and did them myself.
"Why is it that I get absolutely no help around the house? How come everyone expects me to do the dishes?" I asked.
"I thought it was second nature to you."
This was probably the most interesting thing I had ever heard my husband say. I mean, I wasn't mad... perhaps I should have been. But I love my husband very much and he's a great man. He wouldn't say something with the intention of pissing me off, so I wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt.
"Um," here's where I take a very large sip of beer. "What exactly does that mean?"
"Well, I mean," long pause. "It's just that I do physical labor all day. I sweat, I carry heavy things, I don't sit on my ass in a comfy office chair like you. My job is more stressful."
I found this pretty interesting. By now, you may have realized that I use the word "interesting" when I'm looking for a nice way of saying "fucking stupid." Did he really think that his job was more challenging than mine? I always figured we had equally challenging jobs. He does physical labor and my job is mentally stressful. Surely the fifty screaming parents and angry customers I deal with on a daily basis, managing an entire company and its lesson program, could be categorized as a stressful job. Surely, I deserve to sit and watch t.v. after I get off of work too.
The conversation ended friendly enough. Again, I'm certainly not implying that my husband sits around and does nothing all night. He cooked dinner tonight and he will occasionally help by sweeping or mopping. There are battles that I choose to fight, and throwing axes about housework is not something I'm willing to do at the moment.
But it did get me thinking... should my husband be exempt from housework because his job is physically challenging? Should I be exempt from it because I have a mentally stressful job? At what point do husbands feel entitled to be lazy? And at what point should wives feel entitled to some help?